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We were interrupted by a loud knocking
at the door. The lad came in soon afterwards,
telling us that he could descry five of
them, all on horseback.

The old man rose, and moving one of the
mattresses a little aside, he looked cautiously
through the window. It was about nine
o'clock, and the darkness began to set in with
the rapidity peculiar to southern climates.

The knocks were repeated more
vehemently, accompanied now with a loud
summons to open the door.

"Here they are, sure enough! " said the
old man. " I wonder why this major doesn't
go to Kansas: he is the very man for Kansas

"If you don't open now, you French dog,"
said a coarse voice, " we'll break the door!"

The eyes of the old man flashed fire, but he
spoke never a word.

"You know me, Delamotte," said another
voice, which I had heard before. "You know
Colonel Brown. But though we 'ave to
settle an old account, I 'ave no business with
you this time: it's the stranger I want, he
has stolen a 'orse; give him up to us, and
we'll be off in a minute."

"No use talking to that old miser," said
the former voice, with an oath. " Come on,
boys, break that door in, and end it!"

He seemed to suit the action to the word,
for a tremendous crash came.

"En avant! " said the old man to the lad,
and they both went downstairs.

I rose and paced up and down the room
with rapid steps. Something terrible, awful
was going on.

The whole block-house shook and trembled
with the violent kicks and blows which
were dealt at the door, but nevertheless
I could hear distinctly when the iron bar
was removed from it, and thenI felt as
if all my blood were rushing suddenly
to my heart, leaving not one single drop in
any limb of my whole body.

A roarnot at all like those you may
hear in the Zoological Gardens, Regent's
Park, at feeding-timebut a hundred times
wilder, sharper, more piercing, more furious:
then human cries of horror and despair
the trampling of flying horsesthe quick
report of fire-armsthen again the roar, but
this time much louder, more savage, more
ferocious, more horriblethen a heavy fall
and a confused noise of grinding of teeth
then nothing more, because I stopped my ears
with both my hands.

When I turned round, my host sat at the
table again, sipping his grog as if nothing had

" I am afraid," he said, after a while, " the
Princess has been wounded, I have never
heard her roaring in that way. Well, we
must see after this to-morrow. It would be
a dangerous job for any man to go near her

Next morning, I stood by his side when
he opened the door. My first glance fell upon
the tiger cowering in a thick brown-red pool.
She was licking at a red spot upon her
left flank, which seemed to have bled
profusely, but with both her powerful fore-paws
she clung to a deformed and shapeless mass
which bore no likeness to anything I had
ever seen. The corpse of a horse, frightfully
mutilated, lay close by, and the whole ground
vras strewn with fragments of a horrible
appearance. My host having examined them
all with intense curiosity, cracked his whip,
and moved straight towards the tiger.

A hollow menacing roar warned him off;
the savage creature showed its formidable
range of long and powerful teeth, and had
lost all signs of her old tameness.

"She is thirsty for more blood, the Princess
Royal is," said the Frenchman. "That is
nature, you know. She can't help it, I suppose;
and, as I should be grieved to kill her,
we must wait till she comes round again."

We had to wait long. After three days
the old man himself beginning to doubt
whether she ever would come round again,
was forced to kill her after all.

When we were thus enabled to examine
at leisure that horrible battle-field, he drew
my attention to some remnants of a coat
in which the grey colour was still to be

"He has had his reward!" said the old
man, "though it costs me dear. Better than
all those majors was my poor old Princess


I AM nothing entomologist. It is my
simple faithderived from a poem which I
learnt before I could readthat the butterfly
is born in a bower. As to whether he is
subsequently christened in a teapot, or
whether his span of existence is indeed
confined to one hour's duration, as the same
authority went on to state, I have no opinion
to offer. I have never seen him christened,
and never seen him die (except by violence),
but I have seen him in his bower, and that is
all sufficient for me.

I consider that that prying into the most
private affairs of insect life, which seems to
be the delight of some persons, is nothing less
than an impertinent and unwarrantable
intrusion. I wonder how the entomologist,
upon his part, would like to feel that the
centipede, for instance, was for ever invading
his domestic privacy, with a view to the
publication of notes?  Or that the bumble-bee
(or, it may be, the humble-bee, for I was
never so superfluous as to ask to look at his
card) was investigating his minutest actions
in order to buzz them about for the
information of the insect world?

I dislike the toad, because he is the reverse
of a pretty creature, and because I am told
that he is in the habit of spitting at persons

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